Hospitals are currently permitting only one attendant for COVID-19 patients under critical care and for those using oxygen support beds.

A medical professional treating a coronavirus patient Image for representation | PTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 10:22

Protests erupted at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai and Coimbatore ESI Hospital after hospital authorities removed several attendants of patients from COVID-19 wards on Wednesday. The Health Department also took to transferring deans of medical colleges for failing to follow COVID-19 norms and removed attendants from COVID-19 wards using police force in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. As per guidelines, only critically ill COVID-19 patients and those using oxygen support beds are allowed one attendant, while those with less severe symptoms are monitored only by the hospital staff. 

On Wednesday, hundreds of people crowded the COVID-19 wards at RGGGH. Hospital authorities immediately called the police to check the attendants. During the checking, the officers reportedly found that many patients had multiple attendants in the COVID-19 ward. The police immediately removed the attendants to avoid further spread of the infection.

The attendants immediately protested and said that the hospitals were under-staffed and there were only a few nurses to take care of the COVID-19 patients, the Times of India reported. The attendants protested for two hours and when they tried to enter the hospital again, police stopped them and barricaded the entrance.

As per a bulletin issued on Wednesday, Tamil Nadu recorded 34,875 new positive cases and 365 deaths. The state currently has 2.53 lakh active COVID-19 patients receiving treatment from hospitals or under home isolation. The state also witnessed 23,863 patients getting discharged following recovery on Wednesday. 

Among the districts, Chennai recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases as 6,297 patients tested positive for the virus followed by Coimbatore with 3250 cases and Chengalpattu with 2275 cases on Wednesday. Tamil Nadu has tested 1,62,401 persons for COVID-19 between Tuesday and Wednesday. 

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